Chris here! We've got the list of to-do's narrowed down to only a few items now, but one of them requires the fabrication of a stainless steel plate to allow us to mount the engine hoist on the stern. The new dinghy engine weighs about 120lbs so you need a "crane" to pull it up to the rail. The crane has to be mounted within certain tolerances, and we had a bugger of a time trying to figure out how to place it. Pelican wasn't cooperating, throwing weird angles, braces and tight corners at us. We finally figured out a solution, but it will take a little work. We're hopeful that the shop we want to do the work (Kato Marine) will be able to do it quickly. Outside of that, we just have to finish up fixing the refrigeration, finish configuring the autopilot, finish the macerator install and a few smaller odds and ends. There's a light at the end of the tunnel!
On Saturday we unpacked half of the minivan and added a bunch of our stuff to the clutter of our cabin. Matt, one of the great people working on Pelican, graciously invited us to his apartment to hang out for a few hours. Kristen hung back at the boat to unpack (I pushed for us to join her, but she liked the idea of me leaving the boat for a few hours - hopefully not a sign of things to come :)) while I took the kids over to Matt's place. We ordered Thai food, hooked up our XBox to Matt's TV, watched movies, talked, laughed, cried (OK... maybe we didn't cry) and had a generally good time. It turns out that Nora, Matt's girlfriend, grew up in Rye, NY, which is where I, too, grew up. We had a nice time reminiscing about all the places we both knew. What are the odds? We had to leave before the kids finished watching "School of Rock", so we left our XBox for Matt as collateral until we return his movie. I'm sure he was extremely upset.
Sunday was/is a day of rest. Well, at least the morning was. I slept in until 9:30am for the first time in a few weeks. The kids woke me up since the decision was made, in my absence (OK - so I was sleeping - but I still wasn't there for the decision!), to go to Buddy's for brunch. Buddy's has an excellent all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch with everything from Eggs Benedict to crab claws to shrimp to grits to shish-ke-bobs to french toast and more. It's one of those traditional all-you-can-eat brunch buffets, just bigger. We ate our fair share and then, since we have to return the rental car tomorrow, we took the opportunity to pick up our sails from the sail loft (they were having some repairs done). The afternoon was spent unloading the last of our stuff from the car, doing a few more errands (grocery shopping, buying a propane heater for our cockpit for the cold trip south, buying a roto-zip tool [OK - that wasn't necessary, but you need something onboard to cut wood, don't you?] and various other highly exciting errands). We also picked Kristen up a set of sea boots at West Marine. I feel like Norm from Cheers these days. When I walk into West Marine they all greet me asking "Haven't you already been here like 12 times today?"
I noticed something about Pelican today. On Champlain, she always rode about 2 inches above her waterline. When we brought her to Annapolis, she was riding 2 inches above her waterline. Today, she's AT waterline. In short, we've loaded so much stuff on her that she's down in the water 2 inches lower than she usually is. This is perfectly safe, as we're still at the waterline.
Tomorrow, before I return the car, we'll be running over to Bacon's, a used marine gear consignment shop, to drop off a few items we don't need. I don't think there are any other major errands, but I'm sure I'll have some the second I drop the car off.
Weather-wise, it was a cold and windy day today. Temperatures were around 30 and there was a gale warning. The winds were blowing hard so I made sure to snug up all our dock lines. The forecast still calls for rain from Tuesday through Thursday, but we're looking good to head out on Friday. We become "real cruisers" tomorrow when we lose our car. We'll either be walking, begging for rides, using the dinghy or calling cabs, but this is what we signed up for!